Dave Roberts has been keeping me busy with some good rides and I’m told that 14 of my last 16 finished in the first three. There were quite a few seconds, but there was a nice winner at Newbury, and on Sunday a couple made the long journey to Carlisle worthwhile. Westend Story was very good at Hereford on Tuesday and we’re very excited about his prospects as a chaser.
To keep the ball rolling I’ve got a decent book of rides today (Wednesday) at Warwick, including The Last Bridge for my mother and I’m up at Wetherby tomorrow for three more. It’d be nice to finish the week on a high – there’s no jump racing on Good Friday – before my enforced break.
My seven-day suspension begins this weekend, so I’m off to France with the family for some skiing. I haven’t been to this particular place before, but they were there last year. It’s nice to be going somewhere you can be confident you’ll enjoy yourself.
Because there aren’t any top-rated horses running in the two or three weeks immediately after Cheltenham, it’s probably not too bad a time to be off. Having said that, Philip Hobbs has pencilled in quite a few for Chepstow’s Easter Monday meeting, which I’d be sorry to miss out on. Chepstow also race on Grand National day, but I’m sure you’ll understand if I say that I hope to be elsewhere!
The last fortnight of the season gets really busy with Aintree, the Scottish National meeting at Ayr and then Sandown to finish it off, not forgetting Punchestown. I’m looking forward to coming back from the ski slopes refreshed and ready to ride some good horses and hopefully some winners.
As I’ll be away next week, I’m handing over the blog to my old friend Looks Like Trouble, who won the Gold Cup with me in 2000. He’ll be writing about that race and life with the Johnsons.